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Blunt, Blagojevich oppose losing control of National Guard

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

By Sean Crawford, IL Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – A plan in Washington would shift control of National Guard units away from governors, and all of the country's governors are opposed

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are among the signees of a letter asking Congress to block the proposal.

The plan would allow the president to direct guard units in the case of an emergency such as a natural disaster or terrorist threat.

But Blagojevich spokesperson Abby Ottenhoff says it could leave states more vulnerable.

"We can't give up the right and ability to use the National Guard here at home in times of crisis," Blagojevich said. "That would essentially be putting national security ahead of the needs of the people of Illinois and that's not something the governor is willing to do."

Illinois most recently offered up to two hundred guard troops to help stem the flow of illegal immigrants across the border between Mexico and the United States.

But Blagojevich has the ability to recall guard members if they're needed in Illinois.

George Bush's proposal would take that power to control the guard away from governors and rest it solely with the president.


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